Tag Archives: Cause and Effect

The 4 Ps and Effective Businesses


Most owners or executives in small or mid-sized businesses don’t have a lot of time to consciously problem solve, create complicated flow charts, spend time in meetings learning about process improvement, or just never thought it was important.  All they can see is that something doesn’t seem to be creating the desired result in terms of profitability, customer service, and business growth.

One of the simplest tools to use is called cause and effect.  That’s not a new term, we all know about the concept of doing something and then having it create an impact.  It is easy to do a simple cause and effect in your mind when looking at one situation or action. It is not as easy when trying to figure out what is going on when it crosses into different parts of the business.

This is where the 4 Ps can help.  When looking at the effectiveness of your business, start thinking of it in four categories.

*Plant and Equipment*People*Procedures *Policies

Not certain what the difference is between procedures and policies?  Procedures are the methods of accomplishing actions or tasks.  Policies are rules, guidelines,  or directions on how the business or organization will operate.

When looking at problem solving and improving effectiveness of the business, a good way to use the 4Ps and write down the information collected is to make what is referred to as a fishbone diagram.  The diagram below is from SixSigma.com.


Many business owners are so involved at the operational level it is difficult to look at the big picture with an open mind.  This is when an outside perspective combined with the use of tools like Cause and Effect/Fishbone Diagrams can be useful.

Are you ready to better understand how to improve profitability by looking at 4Ps of your business ? Feel like it is something you would like to accomplish, but lack the time or expertise? Please call us at 830-456-0472 or email us at hadsall.associates@gmail.com  to learn more how we can be the resource you need.